Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fan Favorites & Buybacks

Tonight's post is just the latest example of the kindness and generosity that you seem to encounter at every turn in this hobby.  A few weeks back I got an email out of the blue from a man named Andrew Shafer.  Andrew mentioned that he enjoyed this blog, as well as a few others, and wanted to send a few cards my way.  What a stand-up guy!

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I arrived home from work to find a nice little bubble mailer in my mailbox.  I had no idea what to expect since this was really just a blind package, but Andrew certainly came through with some very solid additions to my Red Sox collection!

This Jason Varitek, from 2006 Fleer Tradition, is actually a sepia parallel.  Seems obvious now, but I had no idea until I went to go add it to my collection on The Trading Card Database.

This delivery starts out strong with a couple of fan favorites from the 2000s in Varitek and Dustin Pedroia.  I was collecting in 2009 and certainly remember these "Ticket to Topps Town" inserts from the flagship set.  I've never been big on "virtual" cards and probably never will be, so I never redeemed a code from one of these or anything, but I'll take a new "physical" Pedroia insert any day.

As all Red Sox collectors know, any package that contains a "Smoky" Joe Wood card is an automatic win.  Seriously, you could just send a single card and if it were this one any good Red Sox collector would be pleased.  Someday a copy of Wood's original Cracker Jack card will be mine!

Here's a Bowman Heritage card from 2005, which pays homage to the 1951 Bowman release.  Jeremy West was a Sox prospect who never made the big leagues, rising as high as AA before calling it a career.

Andrew may not have guessed it when he tossed it into the stack, but this one was a big hit with me.  We collectors each have those particular sets that hold a ton of nostalgic value, and for me 1994 Topps Stadium Club is absolutely one of them.  I really need to get off my butt and either build or just buy a copy of this set someday.

I got a couple of new additions from the 2006 flagship set.  I didn't really collect at all between 1997 or so and 2007, so cards from my dark period like these are greatly appreciated.

A nice shot of a very young-looking Kevin Youkilis here.

Here's a triple prospect card from Donruss Elite.  Let's check on where these three guys are at a few years later here... 

Williams Jerez is still at it, pitching for AAA Pawtucket this year but has yet to crack the Major League roster.  Kendrick Perkins (the baseball player, not the basketball player) never rose above A-ball, and finished up his pro career back in 2014.  Alex Hassan's career would seem to be over as well; he's been a free agent for almost a year now.  He did get into three games with Boston in 2014 though!

Next we have a few cards of some of the more successful pitchers in team history.  From 2006 Fleer Ultra, a "Midsummer Classic Kings" insert of the great Pedro Martinez.  Is there such a thing as a bad Pedro Martinez card?  Don't think so.

Joining Pedro in the envelope were a pair of cards of The Rocket, Roger Clemens.  His base 1997 Score card...

...and a 2017 Allen & Ginter base card.  Sweet, I received the same number of 2017 A & G Red Sox cards in this trade package as I did in the lone blaster I purchased this year.

Remember 2011 Topps Lineage?  I'll always remember this release as being one that was so hyped up when it was first announced and details were still foggy.  Unfortunately, poor execution on Topps' part (including arguably the most dull card back design in history) led to most collectors considering this one a bust.  To me this card will serve as a reminder of what could have been.

A very cool 2010 Topps National Chicle card of Big Papi here.  This set had a few examples of artwork that made you cringe, but overall I thought it was great.  Much of the artwork was very original and well-done, I'd take a set like this over 90% of what is being churned out these days.

There was one non-Red Sox Ortiz card in the package, from the 2006 Topps '52 release.  This is actually an insert.  The 1952 set may be overdone, but I don't recall many David Ortiz cards on this design, and certainly not from his tenure with the Twins.

There were a handful of Sox dupes included, but the majority of what Andrew sent (including every card shown in this post) was new to me.  The Red Sox cards were cool enough, especially for a random out-of-the-blue "just because" package, but there were a few buybacks to be found as well!

1984 Topps #727 - Joel Youngblood

First up is the man most remembered for becoming the first (and still only?) player to record a hit for two different teams in two different cities on the same day.  This one's a winner too because I was missing a #727 buyback, and 1984 Topps isn't very well represented in the binder at this stage of the project either.

2006 Topps #561 - Miguel Olivo

Miguel Olivo caught with seven different franchises over the course of his career.  While he hasn't officially retired yet to my knowledge, he also hasn't played in a Major League game for three years now.  Once again, this card makes the binder uncontested as my first #561 buyback.

1993 Topps #474 - Ozzie Guillen

Up next we have the man who is just as much remembered for his contributions as manager of the White Sox as for those as a player, Ozzie Guillen.  Is it just me, or has this guy just flat out dropped off the planet after his stint in charge of the Marlins a few years ago?  Anyway, another cool buyback and once again a number that I was missing previously.

1993 Topps #611 - Tom Gordon

Last card for tonight, a nice intimate portrait shot of the great Tom Gordon.  I wish Topps would mix some photographs like these into the flagship set instead of the gluttony of zoomed in, awkwardly-cropped action photos that bloat the modern day flagship releases.  Oh well, at least my franken-set binder can't face that same criticism, as this card is in!

Andrew, you must have checked my franken-set spreadsheet before sending these right?  If not it's flat out amazing that you went 4/4 in terms of new card numbers at this stage of the project!  These four took me past the 60% mark with the franken-set overall, which is a nice significant round milestone.

I really appreciate your generosity, and even moreso your readership Andrew.  It was very cool of you to hit me up with some cardboard, I truly appreciate it!

Franken-set Progress:  476/792 (60%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  314
Total Buybacks in Collection: 790

3 comments:

shlabotnikreport said...

A nice selection of cards from Andrew! I don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the photo of Alex Hassan on that Elite Extra Edition insert is just laughable. Hell, that could be me in that photo, for all we can tell.

Billy Kingsley said...

Pretty cool stuff. I don't really have anything more than that but I wanted to just show appreciation for an enjoyable post. Glad to see you are using the Database now. My absolute favorite website, even more than my own!

TexasSurveyor said...

Glad to be able to send you a few things you didn't have, and yes of course I looked at your frakenset need list before sending! We'll do it again in the future..

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